Grandmaster Johan Hellsten is convinced that mastering chess strategy - just like chess tactics - requires practice, practice and yet more practice!
This outstanding book is a product of his many years' work as a full-time chess teacher, and is specifically designed as part of a structured training programme to improve strategic thinking. It focuses on a wide range of key subjects and provides a basic foundation for strategic play. Furthermore, in addition to the many examples, there's an abundance of carefully selected exercises which allow readers to monitor their progress and put into practice what they have just learned. Following such a course is an ideal way for players of all standards to improve. Although designed mainly for students, this book is also an excellent resource for chess teachers and trainers.
– An essential course in chess strategy
– Contains over 400 pages of Grandmaster advice
– Includes more than 350 training exercises
The second volume of the book follows the unique concept of the first one. The reader needs to solve practical exercises throughout the entire book in various important middlegame strategical topics in a testing format. According to the collected points after the solutions, he will also be able evaluate his current knowledge.
Volume 2B completes the series by providing cutting-edge antidotes to tricky defences such as the Dutch, various Benoni set-ups, Benko and Budapest Gambits, and anything else not covered in volumes 1A, 1B & 2A. With innumerable updates and improvements to the author’s previous work, this book is essential reading for any ambitious 1.d4 player.
The Dutch Defence is one of Black’s most combative responses to 1.d4, and the Stonewall is the boldest version of this opening. Black immediately seizes space in the centre and clamps down on the e4-square, laying the foundations for a complicated strategic battle.
Many players believe the Stonewall to be a substandard opening, naively assuming that the e5-outpost and bad light-squared bishop must give White the advantage. GM Nikola Sedlak disagrees, and in Playing the Stonewall Dutch he shares the insights that have helped him to rack up a healthy plus score from Black’s side. In addition to providing a complete repertoire in the main lines of the Stonewall, this book also offers useful guidance on dealing with Anti-Dutch variations and various move-order subtleties.
Chess Tests offers chessplayers material of very high quality for working on various themes, from training combinative vision to techniques of realizing advantages. I recommend using those materials for in-depth work in the directions mentioned in the book. If you follow this advice, then this volume will become a valuable addition to your chess studies and will help you reinforce skills and knowledge you have already obtained.
And here is probably the most important point. Dvoretsky wanted to write a book that would not only teach some intricacies of chess, but would also be simply a pleasure to read for aficionados of the game, so he tried to amass the ‘tastiest’ of examples here. I hope that this last book by him is going to achieve this, presenting its readers with many chess discoveries and joy of communication with the great coach and author.
In Technical Decision Making in Chess former World Championship Challenger Boris Gelfand discusses his path to decision making in endgames and positions where one side possesses a structural or material advantage. This investigation into a top Grandmaster’s technical understanding will illuminate difficult parts of the game that many players find elusive. Concepts like the “Zone of one mistake” are certain to be a revelation to many.
This book is a completely new edition of the original The Safest Grünfeld of 2011. I rechecked all the lines and changed my recommendations according to latest developments of theory and my new understanding.
Especially the anti-Grünfeld chapters are basically new. In my opinion top players have long lost hope to find advantage in the main lines and try early deviations. Anand chose 3.f3 against Gelfand and 5.Bd2 against Carlsen. So I devoted special attention to the Sämish approach with two different propositions. 3...Nc6 is less studied and probably more rewarding from a practical standpoint, while 3...d5 is in perfect theoretical shape, but requires more memorization.
Every too often White players try to avoid the Grünfeld by refraining from d4 or c4. I added an additional chapter on the very topical lately Trompowsky and Barry/Jobava attack.
The 7.Bc4 system in the Exchange Variation, and the Russian System have also underwent a major reconstruction.
In the Alapin System White's strategic idea is extremely simple. He prepares to advance with d2-d4, to build a solid pawn centre and then dictate the play. He will have to pay for this with the fact that his queen's knight has been deprived of the best square for its development, but it may have other suitable squares (in many variations this will be not the d2-square but a3). Secondly, it very often happens that after d4 cxd4 cxd4, White's queen's knight still gets access to its best square on c3. The modern evaluation of this system is that Black has comfortable enough lines in which he can obtain an acceptable game. The authors try to prove that not all of these lines are equally good.
This book presents the Triangle set-up, which arises after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3/Nf3 c6.
This move order avoids many unpleasant systems for White, notably the Catalan, the Exchange Slav and the Botvinnik Variation. It leads to sharp strategically unbalanced play and brings Black excellent practical results.
Semko Semkov is a chess journalist and theoretician. He has co-authored the famous books The Modern English, The Most Flexible Sicilian, Attacking the English/Reti, Attacking the Flexible Sicilian and Understanding the Queen’s Gambit Accepted.
The previous book of Khalifman and Soloviov, The Modern Scotch, discussed how to counter 1.e4 e5 in the most direct, aggressive and sometimes even risky fashion. Their new work explores a radically different approach. It presents a White repertoire based on the Four Knights Game, and in particular, the main line – the traditional system with 4.Bb5. The authors summarise the method they propose in the following way: 1. White controls the centre, develops quickly and castles. He DOES NOT strive for a direct clash with the opponent after the first few moves in the opening. 2. He begins active operations only after the completion of his development; as a rule, these will take place in the centre and on the kingside. 3. White strives to reach positions in which basic strategical principles, correct evaluation and ability to choose the correct plan will be at least as important as calculation and theoretical knowledge. 4. He still fights for an opening advantage even though the focus is on the middlegame.
This book will bring something new to your chess library. In our computer era, focus is usually on openings. Watching recent broadcasts, the new generation would rather choose games of a certain opening and look for an interesting idea or even a brilliant novelty. I offer, and recommend, a different concept altogether, based on the famous Soviet school of chess. The focus should be on understanding strategical concepts, principles and underlying logic. Fashionable opening lines will be forgotten (or re-evaluated) sooner or later, but understanding cannot be lost, and can be only upgraded. It is sad to see some players that are well equipped with opening lines, who are unable to realise a big positional advantage in an endgame. So, our advice is to concentrate on Strategy and Logic.
This book is highly recommended for club players, advanced players and masters, although even higher rated players may also find it useful. There is no doubt that lower rated players will learn a lot about thinking processes and decision making, while some logical principles can be put to use by more advanced players too.
The reader may ask: Why those games? The games presented in this book cannot be classified as the “best ever” (of course, such a classification is subjective). However, each game was chosen for its logic and instructive value. Of course, the author understands that readers’ opinion may differ. Either way, the games are useful for exploring many important points: How to evaluate a position and choose an appropriate plan? Where to attack? When to attack? When to exchange? How to realise an advantage?… Learning how to answer such important questions during your future games will improve your chess knowledge and technique considerably. Always try and introduce logic into your games – you will be delighted with the results!
The author also chose some instructive games with the idea to illustrate some psychologically important moments in chess such as the counter-attack, zeitnot or realisation.
The games are separated into chapters, each focusing on a topic. This should facilitate the reader’s navigation through the book.
In Calculation thinking methods such as Candidates, Combinations, Prophylaxis, Comparison, Elimination, Intermediate Moves, Imagination and Traps are explained to the reader, and ownership of them is offered through a carefully selected series of exercises.